NZ First undermines the Coalition | The Jackal

24 Feb 2020

NZ First undermines the Coalition

You’ve really got to wonder what the NZ First Party was thinking and drinking last Friday? Not only did they hamstring the Greens by halting one of their main environmental policies, the electric vehicle fee-bate scheme, a policy that the public was led to believe was a done deal…but they also had the audacity to brag about it online.

It doesn't make much sense to brag about stopping a policy that the Government you're a part of proposed. It makes less sense to do what the opposing team wanted and then criticise them for it. Sort of like doing a victory lap after scoring an own goal.

The Green Party should be spitting tacks at Winston Peters right now, for ignoring his obligations to his political partners and more importantly the environment. Campaigning to undermine your political opponents is all well and good in election year, unless there’s a coalition agreement that specifically forbids it.

With the SFO's investigation into the NZ First Foundation's dodgy donations and the shenanigans over journalists being photographed and then those photos being leaked to attack blogger Cameron Slater's new website, NZ First is the weak link currently destabilising the Coalition Government. So what are Labour and the Greens going to do about it?

On Friday, RNZ reported:

NZ First axes Government's 'feebate' electric vehicle subsidy plan, while Greens vow to take the policy to the election 
The Government's headline policy to cut the price of electric vehicles by up to $8000 has stalled in first gear after NZ First ministers halted it. 
The policy had two parts: a Clean Car Discount, or "feebate" which would subsidise the cost of cleaner vehicles by making polluting vehicles cost more and a Clean Car Standard, which was designed to encourage importers to import cars with better emissions standards. 
Green co-leader James Shaw said if NZ First ultimately decided to block the policy, his party would take it to the election.

At least Labour and the Greens are still honouring their coalition agreements. But it would be good to hear James Shaw get a bit more outspoken instead of just relying on another election to rectify the political problem that NZ First has become. In the meantime the effects of Climate Change, which is apparently this generations nuclear free moment, are getting exponentially worse.

Don’t take my or the scientists word for it though. Just look at the evidence from across the ditch where Australia’s unprecedented bushfires are the costliest ever, the polar caps melting with Antartica hitting its highest ever temperature of 20.75ºC in February this year and closer to home where most of New Zealand is caught in the grip of another severe drought.

Winston Peters - Leader of the NZ First Party
These things are not normal people.

However according to NZ First the Climate Change emergency knocking on our door is something you can ignore or worse yet play bipartisan politics over.

Sure, being a part of the Coalition Government is all about compromise. But that principle doesn’t hold much water when the compromise involves putting our children’s futures at risk.

This is a bad move by NZ First on numerous levels.

Firstly there is a limited (in both senses of the word) pool of people who’re climate change deniers and clearly National and Act already have this market cornered. Secondly Winston Peters looks like a backstabber by reneging on a policy that he most assuredly agreed to implement. Thirdly it makes New Zealand look like a backwards nation compared to the rest of the world and fourthly it does nothing to help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, which is required if we want to continue being a major producer and exporter of food. The agriculture industry will simply die without water.

So what the bloody hell was Winston Peters thinking?